Andrea Dovizioso

MotoGP – Desmo Dovi wins scintillating wet race at Motegi

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Unprecedented weather at Motegi this weekend had seen every session declared wet – the first time in the MotoGP era – and race day was no exception as the skies opened and a torrential downpour covered the 4,801m Japanese circuit.

With rain in the air, the riders lined up on the grid, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3) took pole position after setting the best time in yesterday’s qualifying. As the lights changed Marquez was ahead in the first corner, but was soon passed by Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). The Spaniard held this position until Lap Two, before Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Racing) took his place at the head of the field. Petrucci then began stretching his lead at the front, as the remainder of the pack got involved in their own battles behind him.

As the race progressed, Marquez closed on the leader and overtook him on Lap 13, before Dovizioso snatched the lead from the reigning World Champion on Lap 19, with what was to be the first of many changes of leadership between the pair as the race drew to a close. Dovizioso’s surge to the front resulted in him setting the fastest time of the day, and the top-two in the championship then went head-to-head over the remainder of the race, before heading into the last-lap with Marquez out in front.

With rain still falling, Dovizioso lined up a successful pass at the 90° corner, only to see Marquez come past him straight away, before the Ducati-rider again got the best of the Honda-mounted man to take victory at the end of a scintillating race. Marquez crossed the line in second and saw his title-lead cut to just 11-points, with three races remaining. Petrucci finished third and had the distinction of taking the First Independent Rider honours.

Dovizioso said: “It was a difficult race because at the start there wasn’t much grip and I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike but I never gave up, not even when I was losing ground, and this made all the difference.

“Marc was really quick and he tried right until the end, but there were some places where I could attack and he also made a small mistake on the last lap which gave me a chance to catch him again and try and pass him at Turn 11.

“I knew that he was going to attack me in the final two corners but I was prepared for this, I closed the door on him and he had to go a bit wide to pass me. It was absolutely vital to win here and I’m really so pleased for the whole team and for the championship.”

The race was watched trackside by 52,439 fans who braved the awful weather and they were treated to battles throughout the race that almost matched the excitement at the front. Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) took fourth, just ahead of team-mate Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), both recording their best results of the season so far. Lorenzo was sixth, followed home by Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini). Zarco took eighth and continues to lead both the Independent Team Rider and Rookie Championships. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was ninth, with Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) rounding out the top-ten.

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MotoGP – Dovizioso wins dramatic race in Austria to keep title dream alive

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Andrea Dovizioso scores a fantastic win in the Austrian Grand Prix to move into second place in the championship. Jorge Lorenzo had a good race to finish fourth

Ducati factory rider Andrea Dovizioso produced a spectacular ride to keep his championship ambitions alive at the Red Bull Ring circuit near Spielberg, fending off an attacking Marc Marquez to take the win in a sensational last lap duel.

The Italian rider, who started from the front row of the grid after going second quickest in qualifying, rode a tactical race to always stay in the leading group, carefully managing his tyres before taking the lead on Lap 18.

Dovizioso was then passed by Marquez but was back in the lead again on Lap 22 and he held on to that position until the chequered flag, despite a sensational last-ditch attempt by the Spanish rider in the final corner.

Thanks to the 25 points’ haul for the win, his third of the season, Dovizioso has moved into second place in the overall championship standings, reducing the gap from leader Marquez to just 16 points.

Dovizioso said: “It was a crazy race, but to be honest the whole weekend was incredible, and in particular the final curve of the last lap, but I managed to remain clear headed and was aware that Marquez was going to try and pass me.

“It was a very difficult situation because if Marquez had closed the door coming out of the corner, he would have forced me out and passed me. Instead I was able to resist his attack and I went on to win! I’m very satisfied with the way we managed the entire weekend with my team: understanding the right choice of tyres was really difficult but we did it.

“We had a great race, we’re making up points in the championship, and we’ve got all the right cards to fight for the title.”

 

Racer’s Kit – Andrea Dovizioso

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Andrea Dovizioso, 31, is a racer who competes in the premier class for the Factory Ducati team.

Andrea won the 125cc Aprilia Challenge in Italy in 2000 before scooping up the 125cc World Championship with the Kopron Scot Honda team in 2004.

He moved up to the 250cc class in 2005, picking up five podium finishes and third place overall in his debut season. He finished second behind series winner Jorge Lorenzo a year later, and finished second again in 2007.

In 2008 he moved up to the elite class with JiR Team Scot, finishing a credible fourth place in the season opener in Qatar. He finished fifth overall and the following season became an official Repsol Honda rider, replacing former world champion Nicky Hayden. He won his first premier class race at Donington Park and finished sixth overall in the standings.

Andrea went one better in his second season as a Factory Honda rider, finishing fifth overall in 2010.

Despite taking four second places the following season in the three-man Repsol team, and finishing third in the championship behind Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea rejected the offer of a Honda satellite bike and moved to the Tech 3 Yamaha squad, partnering Britain’s Cal Crutchlow.

Dovizioso was quick straight from the off on the Yamaha, gaining top-five finished in his first three starts, and he finished the season in fourth overall to cap an impressive year.

His riding caught the attention of Ducati, who signed Andrea as a replacement for the departing Valentino Rossi in 2013. Despite struggling to adapt to the career-destroying Desmosedici, he scored a fourth in the wet at Le Mans and finished the season in eighth.

His fortunes improved significantly following the arrival of Gigi Dall’Igna, and this year has seen his stock rise even more – outclassing Jorge Lorenzo and enjoying two wins already.

He’s had his fair share big offs – especially on the notoriously difficult to turn Ducati – and knows what kit works and what doesn’t. Here he shares his kit wisdom.

HELMET: “Everything is important when it comes to your helmet – protection, comfort, vision, quietness, ventilation.

“My advice is to try as many on as you can and buy the best you can afford. You can’t afford to settle for less.

“In terms of order of importance, protection is most important for me, then comfort and finally vision. You want your helmet to give you peace of mind. I need to know it’s going to protect me when, not if, I come off. And it needs to be comfortable. When you’re on the bike you don’t want the interior to be uncomfortable, or to be pinching your head, you want not to notice it so you can focus solely on your riding.

“Ventilation is important too. You can soon overheat in hot races, or mist up in west weather, so having a helmet with effective vents is crucial.

“And you want a helmet to be quiet, the quieter the better. Anything that distracts you from takes your focus away from what’s ahead isn’t good.

“The only thing I change about my helmet is the fit. I wear Suomy and we have adapted it slightly so that the visor aperture sits higher up on my head. That way I can see more when I’m in a full racing crouch. Apart from that it’s completely standard.”

LEATHERS: “I like my leathers to be tight. It’s no good having them loose or they’ll offer little or no protection when you crash. But you can’t have them so tight as to restrict movement, so look for leathers with a good range of stretch panels.

“And don’t be put off by weight. Yes, lightness is important, but you don’t want the material to be that thin that the asphalt burns through it as you slide along the tarmac at 180mph.

“I’m not so fussed about external armour, as I don’t think it makes that much difference. So long as you have armour in the crucial areas, then that’s fine. The principle’s the same as when you go MotoCross riding – you want to be protected, but you don’t want it so restrictive that you can’t move.

“My suit has an airbag, but I can’t say I even notice the difference. It doesn’t make the sit feel any heavier or restrict my movement on the bike.”

BACK AND CHEST PROTECTORS: “I wear both and I can’t recommend them enough, especially the back protector. When was the last time you heard of a rider getting paralysed?

“There’s really not any excuse not to wear either anymore. They’re light, comfortable and after a couple of times wearing them you forget you’ve got them on. There’s a huge choice out there, and most are adjustable.”

GLOVES: “Gloves need to have protection in the right places, especially the wrist. If you come off the bike at speed your hands are going to come into contact with the tarmac. It’s very easy for your hands to dig in and break either your wrist or fingers, so the more heavy-duty protection and sliders gloves have, the better.

“The difficulty is finding the right balance between protection and feel. Your hands control the throttle and brakes, so you need movement, but some gloves are that thin and light that when hit the ground or roll through the gravel they almost fall to pieces. That’s not good, so always go for gloves that are that bit thicker.”

BOOTS: “Boots need to be comfortable, flexible and protective. The ankle is a very complex joint, and is easily damaged, so look for boots with lots of external protection in the ankle area.

“I wear Supertech boots and they’re brilliant. The use a really snug tightening mechanism that keeps the boot snug and secure. They’ve got loads of chunky plastic armour but they’re thin enough on the top of the foot to make changing gear easy.”

BASELAYERS: “I can’t imagine riding without these. They’re excellent at keeping your core temperature constant, and work just as well whether the temperature is 5C or 35C. And they make it so much easier to get into and out of your leathers.”

EARPLUGS: “I always wear earplugs. It is impossible to ride a GP bike without them – the engine is just too loud.

“In the 2008 GP at Donington Park I didn’t have time to put my earplugs in as I rolled out the pits for the outlap before the race. It was horrific. It actually hurt my ears. The bike was that loud. You definitely couldn’t complete a full race without wearing them. I’ve never made that mistake again.”

MotoGP – Dovizioso claims second season win at Barcelona

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Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso has taken an incredible second win of the season in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, making him the first Ducati rider to score back-to-back victories for the Borgo Panigale factory since two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner achieved the feat in 2010.

There was drama off the line as Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa got a good start from pole and Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo almost clashed with fellow front row starter Danilo Petrucci on the Pramac Racing satellite Ducati, with a wayward Petrucci then making contact with Marquez. The collision saw the Italian dropped back and the reigning champion pulled clear as Lorenzo attacked for the lead, taking over at the front.

Championship leader Maverick Viñales found himself heading through the run off area at Turn 1 off the start and dropping back on his Factory Yamaha, with the Spaniard then facing a fight back from outside the points after a tough weekend – teammate Valentino Rossi was also unable to make big progress from P13 on the grid either.

Lorenzo led Marquez and Pedrosa, with Dovizioso on the hunt in fourth and Tech 3 Yamaha’s Jonas Folger in fifth.

It was Marquez who challenged for the lead first, diving under the Ducati with Pedrosa needing no invitation to follow him through. Lorenzo then lost out to his teammate as he began to struggle after the lightning start; Folger and Petrucci were the next to get through.

Pedrosa then attacked for P1 and made the move stick, with Dovizioso taking Marquez. However, the top couldn’t pull away from Folger in fourth, or Petrucci just behind. After a handful of laps playing high-speed chess, Dovizioso then went around the outside of Pedrosa to take the lead – pulling a small gap before Marquez followed the Italian through.

A three-way fight then broke out between Alvaro Bautista on the Aspar Ducati. Johann Zarco on the Tech 3 Yamaha and Lorenzo for P6, with the squabble providing some spectacular wheel-to-wheel action. The trio exchanged places, and with some of the riders struggling to manage the rubber, Lorenzo charged ahead and Folger fell back.

However, Dovizioso was imperious at the front and crossed the line for his fourth career win to become the first Ducati rider since Casey Stoner in 2010 to win back-to-back. Marquez took second with Pedrosa crossing the line in third to join his teammate on the podium.

Lorenzo sliced back through to take fourth at the flag, ahead of Zarco, who got the better of Folger in a last minute duel between the Tech 3 machines. Bautista, after a late run off at Turn 1, came home in P7.

Valentino Rossi came home in eighth after struggling in the latter half of the race, Hector Barbera took P9 in his 250th start in the World Championship, and Maverick Viñales piloted his Factory Yamaha to a disappointing tenth – taking a big hit on his points lead in the Championship.

MotoGP – Dovizioso gifts Ducati ‘dream win’ at Mugello

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Italian rider, Italian bike, Italian GP…and the tricolore flew high over the podium at Mugello, as Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso took a magnificent win battling rivals on track and illness off it to cross the line over a second clear of  Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales  and an impressive home podium for second Italian Danilo Petrucci on the Pramac Ducati.

Home hero Valentino Rossi shot off the line for the lead from P2 on the grid, denying teammate and polesitter Viñales as Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo stormed up from seventh to fight off Dovizioso for third.

With the leaders in-line, Lorenzo used the incredible speed of the Ducati to take the lead for the first time in red, dueling with old nemesis Rossi before the Italian took him back.

Dovizioso pounced next, passing Lorenzo after Viñales had gone through on Rossi, the Championship leader taking the ‘Doctor’ as the trio began to break away from Lorenzo – with Petrucci on the chase.

Petrucci caught the group before too long as Dovizioso took over at the front, and the Pramac rider then pounced on Viñales after a small mistake to follow the factory Ducati.

The gap grew and then shrunk, before the factory Ducati in the lead gained a small gap, then Viñales took over in second. Closing in and then falling back, the pendulum swung between the two men until the last lap – with Dovizioso riding inch-perfect around every corner to take his third ever Grand Prix victory, and the first for a red machine at Mugello since Casey Stoner won in 2009.

Viñales took second to increase his Championship lead once again, with Petrucci putting in the dry-weather ride of his life to complete the podium after staying clear of Rossi over the last couple of laps. The ‘Doctor’, who suffered a motocross crash in training the week before the event, pushed hard through the pain barrier at home and just missed the podium but took good points.

Alvaro Bautista on the Aspar Ducati took a big scalp as he caught and passed reigning champion Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda to complete the top five, with Johann Zarco guiding his Tech 3 Yamaha to seventh behind Marquez.

Lorenzo, after his early duel for the lead, suffered grip issues later in the race and crossed the line in eighth, beating Ducati test rider Michele Pirro over the line. Suzuki’s  Andrea Iannone  completed the top ten.

Late drama further down the field saw Dani Pedrosa slide out, with his Repsol Honda unfortunately collecting LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow on the final lap.

MotoGP – Dovizioso pilots Ducati to victory at Sepang

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Andrea Dovizioso shone in the wet conditions at the Sepang International Circuit, claiming his first victory for Ducati and becoming the ninth winner in a dramatic MotoGP season.

The Ducati Team rider crossed the finish-line ahead of Rossi and Lorenzo at the end of 29 rain-soaked laps, and looked smooth and consistent from the off.

Powering away from pole, Dovizioso was third at the end of Lap One behind Rossi and Andrea Iannone, who then put on a terrific scrap for first. On Lap 12 Dovizioso passed team-mate Iannone and set off after Rossi, whom he passed on Lap 15, and from then on he pulled out a small lead over the Yamaha rider to take the flag with a margin of more than three seconds.

Speaking after the race the Italian said: “It was very important for me to win a race this year: I’ve been trying for so long and I’ve come close on several occasions, so satisfaction for today’s result is truly immense.

“I really powered to the win, because in the first half of the race I could not push too hard, but I didn’t give up, I didn’t make any mistakes and at the right time I passed both Iannone and Rossi and set my own pace.

“I am very happy about the improvements we have made this year, both in the bike and with my team, but also on a personal level. I am working hard also for next year and this win, which has come at the end of the season, is just reward for all the efforts.”

The Italian had not won a race in MotoGP since the British Grand Prix at Donington in 2009 and thanks to this result he moves up into fifth place in the table with 162 points.

 

 

 

MotoGP – Iannone claims maiden GP win in Austria

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The stunning Red Bull Ring in Austria produced a thrilling race for the  95,000 fans who flocked to witness the Grand Prix von Österreich, with Ducati’s Andrea Iannone taking his first premier class win at the Spielberg track.

Starting from pole position, Iannone was the only rider to choose the new medium compound rear tyre, a move which initially looked a gamble, but ultimately turned out to be a masterstroke – the tyre had been especially developed for the Austrian circuit following a recent test there.

The Italian, who will be departing the factory team after a season marred by controversy, including wiping out his team-mate earlier in the season, got the holeshot and led for most of the first-lap until Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi passed him just before they crossed the stripe for the first time.

An incredible battle then ensued at the front, as those two were joined by four more riders in the shape of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, championship leader Marc Marquez on the Honda, still hurting after a brutal off in FP3, and Suzuki’s Maverick Viñales.

With all the riders battling for positions it wasn’t long before the lead changed hands as Dovizioso reeled in his team-mate on Lap 10. The Italian – who became the youngest rider to make 250 Grand Prix starts – held the lead for 10 more laps, with Iannone holding station in second, though riding dangerously close to his team-mate.

Iannone clearly had the better pace and pounced on Lap 21, increasing speed and pulling out a gap, firing in the race’s fastest lap just three laps later before crossing the line to claim his maiden GP win.

It was a day of many firsts – the win gave the factory its first victory since 2010, team-mate Dovizioso crossed the line in second place and to give Ducati its first one-two since 2007, and Iannone became the fifth different MotoGP winner this season; a feat that hasn’t happened since 2009.

Lorenzo finished third, Rossi fourth and Marquez took fifth, with both Yamaha pilots failing to make significant inroads into Marquez’s championship lead.

Andrea Iannone said: “I am really very happy, because in my opinion we did an incredible race. I started off quite slowly and tried to stay up front without ever pushing too hard, because I knew that in the final stages I could have had a bit less pace than everyone else, having opted to start with the soft rear tyre, while all the others made a different choice.

“I ran the whole race keeping a bit of margin and my bike was really perfect. I think that we did a great job over the entire weekend and I’d like to thank my team, all of Ducati and my crew chief Marco Rigamonti who have helped me improve so much in these last four years.”

Andrea Dovizioso said: “It’s a very important day for Ducati because we managed to obtain the win, a one-two even, that we have been chasing for such a long time. We’ve been working hard for four years and I am very happy to be a part of this project. I’m disappointed that I was unable to win however, because today I had a really good feeling with the bike and I was really good under braking.

“We didn’t take the risk of opting for the soft rear tyre, which in the end proved to be the winning move. Iannone on the other hand decided to use it and as he was the only one to do so, towards the end of the race he was at an advantage. In the last few laps, especially in the right-hand corners, I was losing too much time and I wasn’t able to stay close enough to make an attack on him. It’s a pity, but we must look at the positive side of the race because today we obtained a great team result”.

 

MotoGP – two more seats taken in MotoGP musical chairs

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Two more places of MotoGP musical chairs have fallen into place with the news that Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso have extended their factory deals.

The move means the Spaniard and the Italian will ride for the Honda and Ducati teams for the next two seasons, quashing rumours that they were both set to be replaced.

The paddock expected Pedrosa to jump ship to Yamaha, but instead he has opted to remain with Honda, and just as importantly, his main sponsor, Red Bull – a rare case of loyalty working both ways. Pedrosa is the ideal number two rider for Honda – fast, consistent and capable of fighting for the win.

Dovizioso had been favourite to be be ditched by Ducati, with Iannone to partner Jorge Lorenzo for next season, but the team had a change of heart following Iannone’s spectacular last lap collision with team-mate Dovizioso in Argentia, a banzai move which effectively cost him his Ducati career.

The news means that the Honda and Ducati Factory teams are both locked out, and with Suzuki’s Maverick Viñales expected to announce tomorrow that he’s signed for the Yamaha Factory team to partner Valentino Rossi, the three best teams are now full.

MotoGP – Banzai Crazy Joe costs Ducati podiums

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Ducati’s Andrea Iannone suffered a miserable Second race of the season in Argentina, scuttling Dani Pedrosa’s hopes on the first lap with a desperate lunge at Turn One, before wiping out himself and his team-mate at the penultimate corner of the last lap.

The banzai move left Iannone unable to remount, while Dovizioso pushed his bike over the line to claim 13th place.

After the race the last lap incident between the warring Ducati Factory riders was investigated by Race Direction, and Iannone was handed a three place grid penalty for the next race at Austin. The Italian was also handed a penalty point for an ‘overly optimistic overtake’.

Iannone was distraught at his error. He said: “I’m okay. I’m just disappointed. It is very difficult because, yes, I went down and touched Andrea. Both me and Dovizioso would have been on the podium, so to finish the race in this way is unbelievable.

“I didn’t brake too late. I braked in the same point, but I stayed a little bit more inside because I had Andrea on the outside. I’ve been in Race Direction. But for sure I will say sorry to Andrea. Fortunately, I have a good relationship with him.”

Dovizioso was angry at missing out on a second place finish. He said: “I am very disappointed because we did a great race despite it being a complicated weekend for everyone. In qualifying we went well, in the race I was running up front and in my opinion the strategy was a good one. I even changed bikes at the right moment, staying out a lap extra and making up a few seconds.

“In the last few laps we were in a bit of difficulty, but we managed to catch Valentino, and I tried to close all the doors during the final lap. In the penultimate corner however what everyone could see happened and I missed out on a certain second place. Looking at things positively, we were also quick here in Argentina and, if I had managed to finish the race, now we would be second in the championship just one point behind Marquez.”

Iannone is well thought of at Ducati, with the bosses impressed by his work ethic and his performance since stepping up to the Factory squad. However, this is the second race in a row he has failed to score points and the incident intensifies the pressure on the pair, with the paddock convinced that Jorge Lorenzo has already signed to ride for the Factory for the next two seasons, and former world champion Casey Stone waiting in the wings.

MotoGP – no fuel problems for Ducati duo

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When both Ducati GP15s stopped on the slow down lap in Texas, their first race since a two-litre fuel reduction, many in the paddock thought the bikes had simply ran out of fuel.
But speaking ahead of this weekend’s race in Argentina, Austin runner-up Andrea Dovizioso, denied either bike had run dry. he said: “The reality is we didn’t run out of fuel. We had something on the tank. We had a different problem. But it is something we don’t want to speak about!”
Ducati two of half of its extra allowance of four litres of fuel after accumulating three dry podiums since the start of 2014, but even with the reduction the team still enjoys a two-litre advantage over the Factory Honda and Yamaha squads.
Satellite Pramac Ducati riders are also subject to the new fuel limit, but Danilo Petrucci did not appear to have any consumption issues on his GP14.1, stopping to give Dovizioso’s team-mate Andrea Iannone a lift back to the pits, while Yonny Hernandez crashed out.